Do I Get Sick Leave?

Mr A brought home the stomach flu from those runny-nosed disease factories he teaches at school.  He had it bad on Monday/Tuesday, I caught it like crazy yesterday, and now I am just waiting for Ikaika to display some symptoms. 

Yesterday I barely had energy to stand up, let alone be a parent.  I did things I swore I would never do: I let him watch hours upon hours of television, I fed him whatever was fast, and let him eat on the couch.  When Mr A came home from work I practically jumped out of my skin I was so relieved!

Being ill and being a mom sucks - kids don't care if you can't keep food down, kids don't care if you are about to pass out every time you stand up, kid don't care if you are sick!  Now I want my mom to come here and take care of me so I can completely ignore her needs. It's only fair.


Ode to The Donald

When my family was here, Beth was the first to point out that Ikaika's haircut looked like a toupee.  I would have been offended, but the evidence was irrefutable.  I got a second opinion from mom (yes, it indeed looked like a comb-over), thanked them for their honesty, and promptly reached for the clippers.

I used the #4 comb on the dirt cheap clipper set Mr A uses to cut his hair.  Not only is it a million times faster (and therefore, easier) than using scissors and a comb, it's efficient.  Sure, he looks a little more devious - "...like a bully who beats up nerds" - but almost all the hair got cut evenly.  I can't believe I didn't use this technique before!  Simple.  I have decided that my son will be getting clipped at home until he goes to college.



Having a sibling is almost like the first taste of married life.  Whereas parents are there to provide for our needs, siblings are much more autonomous but still permenant.  We learn to resolve conflict and express emotion, we learn to set our personal feelings aside for the sake of family harmony.  Through the trials, we find a lifelong companion, a continuous support, and a true friendship.  For me, it runs much deeper than just sharing or having playmates.

Beth and I were discussing this weekend about growing up and being sisters, etc.  At first it would seem that we are the quintessential opposites.  She has always been scholarly, shy, and responsible.  I'm creative, loud, and impulsive.  But, as we've gotten older, we notice that we have always been much more similar than we have ever been different.  We probably exaggerated our differences when we were young in order to carve out an identity within the family.  Now that we are adults it seems perfectly normal that we would be close friends.  Having a sister who is so different from me on the surface and learning to love her has taught me to be open minded and receptive to relationships that may at first seem unlikely or even impossible. 

Two-thirds of the sister pie!  Thanks Beth, for the fantastic week and insightful chats.


Oma & Opa Visit The Island!

Please excuse my complete lack of updates.  My mother, father and older sister have been visiting for the past week. Tomorrow we are on our way to Oahu for some historic sightseeing. For now, enjoy these highlights from our super fun week!

Dessert at Monettes - yum yum.  Two dessert platters fed four with room to spare!  The chef went so far as to accommodate my request that the plate cheer the Vikings to victory (clearly, it worked!).  The chocolate layer cake with Kona coffee cream was described by Beth as "the tastiest ding dong Ive ever had!"

Drive over Mountain Road to bask in the glory of North Kohala.  Sure it was rainy with limited visibility but the Tahitian Vanilla ice cream was still delcious.

Beach, beach, and more beach.  I was impressed with Opa's willingness to dive right into the Pacific.

Brewery hunting.  (I believe this is the "where's your boto?" pose)  Kona Brewing Company provided awesome beer and food (the baby ate an entire keiki plate - sides and all).  Mehana Brewing in Hilo had a tasty, although somewhat limited, selection of fresh beer and a cute shop.

Hiking at the lava fields in Kalapana.  The black sand beach was truly something else.


And a WHOLE LOT of driving in the car!


Looks like Mommy!!

It's difficult to say with any amount of certainty who the baby "looks like".  Obviously, he looks like both of us to some degree, but there is usually a stronger pull towards one family.  I'm inclined to say that he looks like me - as illustrated in the above snapshots.  He has my blonde hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, large front teeth ("the Dittman grin"), fat cheeks, square shoulders, and wide feet. 
You may think I'm just being biased because I am madly in love with my son, but I can say with complete confidence that I "look like" my mom.  It's frightening.  Like looking into the future everytime I see her.  I'm inclined to believe that Ikaika is following this trend. Only time will tell...


Making Lists

There is so much to do before my parents and sister arrive on Thursday night!  I have made at least 3 lists, including "What Groceries to Buy at KTA" (Mt. Dew, of course!), "Sundries to Pick Up in Kona", and "Things to Finish Around the House"!

Today I am focusing on
  • grocery shopping
  • making granola bars for my sister
  • general cleaning/picking up of all rooms
  • making a fabric cover for the cooler that sits in our living room (my mom pointed it out on Skype and I was kind of embarrassed but I love it and don't want to put it in storage!)
  • getting the hall closets cleared out so Mr A can fix the shelves that fell down
  • moving the playpen into our room
  • organizing all the shoes in the doorway
  • taking out the trash
  • stocking supplies (ie. toilet paper) around the house
  • wiping all the mirrors and windows
  • updating the blog!!!


Welcome to Our Weekend

This weekend we took a deep breath and put the PRAXIS behind us.  Mr A said the test was much harder than he anticipated (more difficult than the review book) and he was slightly discouraged by having run out of time on two of the sections.  Now we just wait for the scores and go from there.

I was almost jealous watching him walk into the testing center.  I love the thrill of a big exam.  The rush!  The high!  I seriously miss school.  Is that sick or what?

So the baby and I had a couple hours to wander around Hilo.  Ikaika unfortunately came down with an incredibly high fever so I felt horrible killing time at Ross and WalMart knowing that he just wanted to be at home, watching football and relaxing with his sippy cup.  (This picture is from the Rose Bowl)

I also had forgotten my Ergo baby carrier at home (blast!) so I ended up using my scarf as a make shift sling.  I happened to be wearing a krama, which is a large cotton scarf from Cambodia and the best dollar I have ever spent.  When we were traveling there, I saw people use that thing a million different ways, including to carry a baby.  Apparently, all I need to do is tie the two ends in a knot and it becomes a comfy pouch for my little guy.  He instantly fell asleep.  I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture.


My Baby's Image

Sure, when I was preggo with the baby I wanted to buy the entire baby aisle at Target and I dreamed of having a little dolly to dress up.  I had fantasies about how "cool" my kid would look.  But now, a year later and wiser, I'm over it. 
How did having a baby become synonymous with a shopping trip?  Do we really need designer/put together "looks" for infants? Do kids clothes even need to match? 
According to this picture (taken a couple months ago at the park, although not much has changed in that department since), the answer is no. 


Staying Conscientious About the Reality of Disposable Diapers

From Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer.
"Single-use disposable diapers are responsible for about 4 percent of the refuse in North American landfills.  They represent the third-largest single consumer item in landfills (after newspapers and beverage containers) and comprise a staggering one-third of the nonbiodegradable waste.  The word disposable is a misnomer: these diapers do not go away!  The average baby will contribute 2.75 tons of disposable diaper garbage to this heap by the time he is toilet trained.  Once there, these diapers pose a nonbiodegradable health hazard and an ecological nightmare, potentially contaminating surrounding area and water supplies with chemical toxins as well as natural biological pollutants...Even supposedly biodegradable disposables contribute to these environmental problems, since they require light and air, and are usually too compacted, to decompose.  They may take generations to break down, if ever, and still leave bits of plastic behind."


Smoothie Obsession

I am obsessed with smoothies!

They seem to be the perfect way to ensure that my kid eats something balanced.  It's so simple to sneak stuff in there.  Lately, it's been spinach. I know Ikaika is getting his 1/2 cup of raw, leafy greens because I've been blending them together with berries and protien!

Since I've been out of his infant multivitamin powder, I have also been adding a regular Vita-Lea to the blender and just mixing it in with the rest of the stuff. This seems to be working out just fine and in the long run, I think it may even be saving me money.  Long live the smoothie!

But, the truth is that Ikaika doesn't eat raw greens unless they have been pulverized beyond recognition - so I would consider that to be the real victory.


The Ill-fated Karaoke Night Incident of the Holidays

Hawaii is a very kid-friendly place.  We have been able to take Ikaika just about everywhere with us; the movies, the golf course, fine dining restraunts, etc.  I've been so spoiled by this freedom that I no longer even stop to question the venue - I just pack up the baby and head out into the night.

Then came the ill-fated Karaoke Night incident of the holidays. 

As I mentioned earlier, my good friend from high school and her husband were travelling through Big Island during Christmastime so we spent the holidays together and had four days of rip roarin' fun.  One evening, we all decided it would be fun to sing karaoke at Sansei's in the Queen's Market Place (Waikoloa).  Our neighbor is a bartender there and had often invited us to come and check it out.  Even though we have eaten there before, we had never sung there before and the fact that the menu is half off during karaoke certainly upped the ante.  Since every one of the four of us has the personality willing to sing in front of a crowd, we headed down on Saturday night. 

Of course, we brought Ikaika. It was 11pm and he was sleeping anyway so I figured I would just throw him in his Ergo Baby Carrier and he would snooze through the rest of the night like he usually does when we go to parties.  Turns out we forgot the Ergo, but I was able to stuff him into Carrie's sweater and that seemed to do the trick.  We (excluding me since I was D.D.) enjoyed one last beer in the parking lot and headed for the music.

We got up to the door and...what is this?...there was a bouncer?!  Surely he's not a real bouncer!  He probably just takes cover charge.  Wait, is there a cover? 

Mr A asks "Is Craig (neighbor) working tonight?" 
Big Guy, "yeah, he's behind the bar"
We take a step towards the door.
Big Guy, "But you can't go in with the baby..."
Gasp followed by confused expression.
Big Guy, "uhh...its a nightclub!"

So Mr A went inside to talk with our neighbor as my friends and I sulked back to the car.  How could they do this to us?  Even if it is a "nightclub", IT'S HAWAII!!!  My initial reaction was rejection followed shortly by embarrassment.  Am I really that lady who is trying to bring her baby into a bar?  And, to make matters worse, am I really that lady who is actually confused as to why she can't do it?!

Mr A got the scoop from Craig and it turns out there have been some fights there lately (are people here really that serious about their karaoke?) so the managers said a baby would be a liability.  They kindly offered to let us sit in a back dining room but then we wouldn't have been able to sing so we mutually decided to head back home and watch a movie instead. 

The whole incident made me realize two things.  One, I feel entitled to take my kid with me everywhere I go.  I am downright offended if Ikaika is not welcome no matter what the circumstances are.  Two, there are so few bars or nightclubs on this island, especially in Kohala (most bars are in conjunction with a restaurant), that I had completely stopped considering anything to fall under that category.    


New Years Resolutions

  • Finish Learn Hawaiian At Home (Ive been on Chapter 4 for almost two and a half years)
  • Read 2 books a month
  • Update Keiki On Board (etsy) at least twice a month
  • Write 12 chapters of a book
  • Weight training twice a week
  • Get Ikaika using the potty consistently for at least 75% of the day
  • Read Ikaika a story before bed at least 5 nights a week
  • Eat/serve 4 servings of fruits/vegetables a day (I know it's supposed to be 5 but I'm going for a realistic average)
  • If I haven't used it for 6 months - GET RID OF IT!
  • Start a garden (even if it's a humble one)
  • Explore Volcanoes National Park
  • Visit/take a tour of Parker Ranch
  • Skype with family at least once a week